As part of its $398 million settlement Wednesday, Total S.A. agreed with the SEC to disgorge $153 million of profit made from its bribery in Iran. That’s the third biggest disgorgement in FCPA history.
What exactly is disgorgement? It’s a remedy, according to Marc Alain Bohn, authorized by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that’s ‘used to deprive wrong-doers of their ill-gotten gains and deter violations of federal securities law.’
Disgorgement first appeared in an FCPA enforcement action in 2004 (ABB Ltd disgorged $5.9 million to resolve books and records and internal controls offenses). Since then the SEC has used disgorgement in more than three-quarters of its FCPA-related enforcement actions.
Here are the current top ten FCPA-related corporate disgorgements (including prejudgment interest):
1. Siemens $350 million in 2008
2. KBR $177 million in 2009
3. Total S.A. $153 million in 2013
4. Snamprogetti $125 million in 2010
5. Technip $98 million in 2010
6. Daimler $91.4 million in 2010
7. Pfizer $45.2 million in 2012
8. Alcatel-Lucent $45 million in 2010
9. Chevron $25 million in 2007
10. Pride $23.5 million in 2010
For comparison, here’s our current list of the top ten FCPA enforcement actions of all time.